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“This is a situation in which the need for built-in operational safeguards to reduce the opportunities for abuse are absolutely critical,” the report said. “It will be essential to ensure that substantial security measures are in place to protect these tools from unauthorized access by hackers or other intruders.”

TIA was initiated after the September 11 attacks and is run by retired Vice Adm. John Poindexter, whose conviction for deceiving Congress in the Iran-Contra scandal was overturned.

His name and biography were removed from the program’s Web site after he was criticized as the administration’s choice to lead the agency.